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The advantages of nursery hunting

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 12:28 am
by seanchai
I went to my local nursery today to hunt for a zelkova. No luck there... cheapest they had was $200, which is just a tad outside of my budget (by about $190). I got a lead on another nursery that should have them in stock, though, so I'll be going over there next weekend for another shot at it.

The woman at the counter was intrigued by the idea of bonsai and asked me what else I could bonsai... my reply ("Well, a bonsai is just a tree. Anything *can* be bonsaied, but some are better than others due to leaf size, trunk width etc.") garnered a "well... would you like to look around our sale greenhouse in the back? Everything's in pretty sorry shape, but you're welcome to take whatever catches your eye..."

So I did.

Walked away with a Japanese holly with great nebari that was buried under the soil ($1), an English laurel that I'm not sure I can do much with, but that has a great double trunk/nebari ($1), and a boxwood that had been left out in the sun and had some dieback ($1).

The laurel needs pruned back hard. The boxwood has *plenty* of green wood, even on the dead side... I pruned out the deadwood, but other than that I think it's best to leave it alone for a while in partial shade, so it can recover. Haven't tackled the holly yet, but can't wait to get a better look at it.

Only problem is they were out of turface and so am I, (and they're the only ones that carry it), so I'll have to wait to repot till next week. I hate repotting this late in the season, but all three are growing-out-of-the-pot rootbound and the soil is abysmal... I think it'd do more damage to leave them in that muck than to repot now.

Moral of the story - three new (potential) trees, $3. Nurseries are great.

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 1:04 am
by constantstaticx3
Sounds great! Good job. Wrt re-potting, I suggest you not disturb the roots too much and do more of a slip pot but since they were so cheap, I might go ahead and do a full root prune and re-pot. All you have to lose is a few bucks.

Tom

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 1:07 am
by seanchai
yeah, my current plan is to disturb the roots as little as possible this time around. I think I can get away with that... but if not, as you said, I don't have too much to lose.

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 7:25 pm
by Kenshin14435
I have yet to go nusery hunting but I do plan to do so soon. I might not get anything. I probably won't have any money(I'm buying a GPS to help with collecting). But I mustn't forget to "see" with my hands n the soil.
So yeah. Thats 'bout it for me :mrgreen:


K5

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 7:46 pm
by seanchai
yes... the importance of getting your hands into the soil can't possibly be overstated imo. The three I walked away with were not great looking - due to mistreatment or neglect, they were overgrown, uneven, baked by the sun, missing leaves etc. (That's why they were on sale.) All three had *great* trunks, good to great nebari, good branch structure, bright green wood beneath the bark, and new healthy growth, however.

Each one required me to (very gently) sweep some of the surface soil away from the trunk and then get my fingers 2-3 inches down into the dirt to "see" what was what.

If I'd had to pay full price on all of the above, it would have run me about seventy bucks. I did look at the "nice" ones just for the sake of looking, but honestly, I didn't find half as good a trunk on any of those as I did on the sale ones.

It's worth mentioning that because the stock I purchased was in sorry shape, I do have them *well* away from my other bonsai trees... just in case any of them have critters I'm not aware of. I'll be watching them closely over the next few weeks, and I'll be giving them extra scrutiny when I slip pot them, just to make sure there are no bugs, eggs or fungi afoot.

Posted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 8:46 pm
by tarian
i love the lil nurserys where trees don't cost at all much (and once in a while no giant graft marks :D )
ive even been asked to make bonsai for a nursery out of thier plants and they said theyd pay but unfortunutly the nursey is by my holyday caravan
make sure you check the bargain and newly throwing out bins or even explain what your looking for and like senchai you might get luky

good work senchai (spreading the word of bonsai )

tarian :wink:

Posted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:09 pm
by sean117Ply
Look at what I found at a nursery :D

[img]https://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh108/sean117Ply/IMGP0845.jpg[/img]

tridant maple :D better then a bonsai starter from a bonsai nursery

Posted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:46 pm
by seanchai
wow! great find (to my beginner's eye, anyway :) )

Posted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:38 pm
by Kenshin14435
Yes, that tree does look good from the branches down and all but what about foliage and branching? Is it possible for you to post a picture of the branching? Other than that it looks great to me.(Although...It does seem kinda big)Oh-Well

Ken

Posted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 11:25 pm
by Gnome
Ken,

Tridents respond very well to trunk chops. In fact I would wager that this tree was purchased for the nebari and lower trunk. Everything else can be re-grown, most deciduous trees can be treated this way to some degree. Just don't try it with a Pine.

Norm

Posted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:15 am
by sean117Ply
Gnome wrote:Ken,

In fact I would wager that this tree was purchased for the nebari and lower trunk.
Norm
Yup :D

The whole top has said good bye, I will post a pick of it chopped.

Posted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:00 pm
by Gnome
sean117Ply,

I knew this tree looked familiar so I checked back and found the other thread. I'm surprised you chopped this late (for you) in the year. Please do post pictures I'm interested to see what you decided on.

Norm

Posted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 6:58 pm
by Kenshin14435
HeHe.....Yeah, I knew that(not really)
Anyway, just a question. Whats a nebari? I've never heard of it in the book I've read. But.....I don't read certain parts of bonsai books unless I have to. I normally just look up what I'm looking for in th index and go to that certain page. I'll go look there.
:roll:
Ken

Posted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:31 pm
by Gnome
Ken,

Nebari is the term given to exposed surface roots that give the impression of age and stability.

Norm

Posted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 3:04 am
by constantstaticx3
I also think nebari can mean just a basel flare that gives stability to the tree. Although roots are desired, basel flares can be just as impressive and are also very common in natural trees.

Tom

Posted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 5:06 pm
by Kenshin14435
Ah Ok. I get it.
It's kinda like....well.........nevermind.
Anyway, thnx!

Ken